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News November 27, 2020

The 2020 ARIAs are the finish line to a weird year. Things are looking up [Op-Ed]

The 2020 ARIAs are the finish line to a weird year. Things are looking up [Op-Ed]

The 2020 ARIA Awards sure weren’t like other editions.

Nope, the heavens didn’t rain on the record industry’s parade. There were no flashers on the red carpet. No plastered industry execs (and journalists) talking nonsense when they should be watching the show. No irascible Irish guests throwing shade at the host, or spikey trophies turned projectiles of pain at the afterparty. No tabloid tales the following day.

What a shame.

If the ARIAs is about celebrating the record industry and its biggest stars in the past year, now is a fair time to do it.

Borders are opening-up, finally. Flights between Sydney and Melbourne this week resumed for the first time in months. Queensland opens its borders to NSW and Victoria on 1st December.

Concerts are coming too. Arena shows, socially-distanced festivals.

When the 2021 ARIA Awards roll on, Guns N’ Roses will be rocking stadiums around the country.


Consider, at the time of writing, an Australian band has the biggest album in the world. AC/DC’s ‘Power Up’ is No. 1 in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia, where the Hall of Famers have clocked a chart leader in five successive decades.

It’s coming off the biggest sales week for any album this year in the U.K., where Angus Young and Co. knocked off another Aussie No. 1, Kylie Minogue’s ‘Disco.’ That’s one ARIA Hall of Famer replacing another.

On the midweeks in the U.K., Aussies account for four of the top 20 albums. Heck, let’s just dump November and call it AusMusic Month.

In our industry bubble, it’s tough to get a measure of the world outside. Charts give us a window.

The kids are coming. The Kid LAROI recently went Top 10 on the U.S. Billboard 200. He’s up for ARIAs silverware.

Tame Impala had career highs on the U.S. and U.K charts, two more Grammy nominations and they’d probably be the hottest festival headliner on the planet, if it weren’t for the plague.

Kevin Parker

Kevin Parker photo by Matt Sav

Lime Cordiale got their breakthrough. Flume, Alison Wonderland and Sampa The Great are hot. Tones And I’s career is moving along nicely and an album is on the way.

Now, if only homegrown acts could make a dent on the singles chart. A request for Santa, perhaps.

This year has been a long, drawn-out kick in the teeth for the music community. All the signs would suggest things are looking up.

Sampa The Great

Revel in the performers and the winners at the ARIAs. The world now and tomorrow is a smaller one, thanks to technology. All the artists on your screen are enjoying global careers, or starting them.

The 2020 ARIAs are the finish line to a weird year. Get across it, in whatever shape you can.

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.

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